Dabbling in cryptocurrency exchange and trade can be a rollercoaster ride most of the time. Since its introduction in 2009, Bitcoin has gained immense popularity, and today, many individuals and organizations carry out large transactions using cryptocurrency. Despite having ample security measures in place, there have been multiple instances of cryptocurrency theft. Especially when the price of Bitcoin climbs up, everyone wants a piece of the crypto pie, leaving the new cryptocoin owners vulnerable to fraudsters and hackers.
Amidst the COVID-19 chaos, the online security of many cryptocurrency holders was compromised, leading to the loss of millions of assets. A major security risk that Bitcoin traders faced in 2020 is phishing scams. In the name of COVID-19 relief and charity, individuals received emails seemingly from legitimate sources that were embedded with malicious links and broke through their virtual wallet’s security measures. This is only one of the many risks that Bitcoin holders face. Therefore, here are 7 tips and tricks to protect your virtual Bitcoin wallet in 2021.
Protecting Your Virtual Bitcoin Wallet
1. Choose a reliable e-wallet
Signing up with an e-wallet is simple and it takes only a few minutes to be set up. Accessing most of these platforms only requires a browser, username, and password. Especially for beginners, Bitcoin wallets hide the complex technical aspects like managing private keys and addresses.
Before getting started with Bitcoin trade and transactions, make sure that your chosen wallet is provided by a reliable provider. Another critical factor to take into consideration is that the chosen wallet fits your needs and does not levy hidden charges while transferring the cryptocurrency.
2. Only trade on trusted platforms
Cryptocurrency trade platforms can easily turn out to be a part of phishing scams or be vulnerable to attacks from hackers. Thus, it is important to research the platforms on which you trade Bitcoins. bitcoinupapp is one such website that can be trusted with your valuable Bitcoin assets and information.
Another way to ensure safety while carrying out Bitcoin transactions using trade platforms is by utilizing escrow services. Here, if you are not sure about the identity of the person you are trading with, the escrow service holds the payer’s cryptocoins with them until the promised product or service reaches the payer. Once the payer is satisfied, the person on the other end receives the payment. Escrow services are offered by many wallets too.
3. Encrypt the wallet
This is the most basic security measure that every Bitcoin wallet has and at the same time, insufficient encryption leads to the easiest thefts. Studies have shown that most millennials use the same password for over ten devices and many more websites. Thanks to this practice, those with malicious intentions can gather your data from other websites that you share your details with and siphon your funds.
Most importantly, while encrypting Bitcoin wallets, make sure to set complicated passwords that are strong enough. Remember to routinely change the passwords to reduce the risks of getting hacked. If you are making use of password managers, go for reliable ones and only open your Bitcoin wallets on secured devices.
4. Store the currency in small amounts
Wallets, be it virtual or real, serve the same purpose — hold the currency for immediate use. Keeping this in mind, before engaging in trade or proceeding with transactions, use a Bitcoin wallet with only the required amount in it. Store the rest in another wallet for safety. Using multiple wallets with small amounts of cryptocurrency stored in them means that hackers will not be able to obtain all your cryptocoins after a transaction.
It is also prudent to deactivate a wallet after an exchange has been done with it. Some software enables rewriting the information on a wallet before it is destroyed, thereby preventing any sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands.
5. Opt for 2FA or MFA
While using any online transaction platform, it is critical to set up a two-factor or multi-factor authentication system. Enabling multiple factor authentication means that you will still have access and control over the Bitcoin wallet if you get hacked. Wallets send messages to your chosen mobile, email address, or physical dongle when unusual or suspicious activity is noted on the account and can help you tackle them in case of issues.
However, remember to not link your Bitcoin wallets to your mobile phones. SMS passcodes and messages can be easily tampered with and your assets become more prone to risks this way.
6. Backup and update software regularly
Fortify the Bitcoin wallet by regularly updating the device from which it is operated. The latest forms of firewall and antivirus systems can provide more security to your accounts. This can also check for and take down any bugs that are prevalent in the data.
Sometimes, backing up and updating the wallet is a great solution. This can become increasingly helpful if you come across a failure of the computer system or software.
Regular updates that the wallet providers suggest allow you to backup your wallet’s data. Backing up your wallet will enable you to access your data if you encounter a computer system or software failure. It makes account recovery easier in the longer run.
7. Stay away from suspicious links
Stealing confidential data through seemingly harmless but malicious links might be the most versatile cybercrime ever. The criminals embed the necessary links in spam emails or even advertisements that come up while using free WiFi networks. Upon clicking them, the user is taken to unsafe websites from where hackers get access to the device details and can even render the devices useless.
The safest course of action in such cases is to not click on any unknown links or links from unfamiliar sources. Refrain from accessing Bitcoin wallets via public WiFi networks and make use of VPN even when you are using your home network for added security.
Summing It Up
The fluctuating nature of Bitcoin prices makes it more open to new users as well as cybercriminals. Since there is no single governing body watching over every cryptocoin transaction, it is nearly impossible to track down and get the coins back, once stolen. Moreover, the value of Bitcoin does not change after it is stolen because receivers cannot discern the source of cryptocurrency. Thus, implementing the above-mentioned tips is the only way to lock down your virtual Bitcoin wallet.